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Roll Call

July 24, 2005|By Thomas Voting Reports

WASHINGTON - Here's how area members of Congress were recorded on major roll call votes in the week ending July 22.

HOUSE


Iraq benchmarks

Voting 203 for and 227 against, members on July 20 rejected a Democratic request that President Bush set public benchmarks for measuring U.S. progress in Iraq in areas such as defeating the insurgency, establishing democratic institutions and bringing U.S. troops home. This occurred during debate on a bill (HR 2601, later passed) authorizing State Department activities and other foreign operations in fiscal 2006.

A yes vote backed the Democratic motion.

Maryland

Roscoe Bartlett, R-6, no

Pennsylvania

Bill Shuster, R-9, no

West Virginia

Shelley Moore Capito, R-2, no

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Iraq commitment

Voting 291 for and 137 against, members on July 20 approved a GOP-sponsored amendment to HR 2601 declaring that the United States should withdraw its force from Iraq only when it is clear "national security and foreign policy goals relating to a free and stable Iraq have been or are about to be achieved."

A yes vote backed the GOP amendment.

Maryland

Bartlett, not voting

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes




Weapons in space

Voting 124 for and 302 against, members on July 20 defeated an amendment to HR 2601 requiring the United States to begin negotiations on an international treaty to ban weapons in space. The Pentagon is studying a possible U.S. launch of space weapons.

A yes vote backed a treaty to pacify space.

Maryland

Bartlett, no

Pennsylvania

Shuster, no

West Virginia

Capito, no




Fistula, birth control

Voting 223 for and 205 against, the House on July 19 removed birth control from the list of services funded by HR 2601 for coping with obstetric fistula in the developing world. Girls are most susceptible to the condition, which occurs when soft pelvic tissue is damaged during labor, leading to incontinence and social isolation. The bill authorizes $7.5 million in U.S. aid for fistula programs in Africa, Asia and elsewhere.

A yes vote was to remove contraceptive services from U.S.-funded fistula programs.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes




Permanent Patriot Act

The House on July 22 passed, 257 for and 171 against, a bill (HR 3199) to renew the USA Patriot Act and convert most of its key antiterrorism provisions to permanent status. Like the original law, the renewal expands the power of police and intelligence agencies to keep watch on, probe and detain individuals suspected of terrorism and possibly related activities, with less judicial review than existed before 9/11. The only key provisions not made permanent by the renewal are ones authorizing roving wiretaps and secret searches of library and bookstore records, both of which would expire after ten years. The bill awaits Senate action.

In part, the Patriot Act expands government power to monitor phone, email and Internet usage; permits secret, no-warrant searches of suspects' homes; allows extended jailing of non-citizens without the filing of charges; allows prosecutors to release secret grand jury testimony to intelligence agencies; treats those who conspire in terrorist crimes or harbor terrorists as severely as it does perpetrators; allows the FBI to issue subpoenas on a limited basis without prior court review, and makes it a federal crime to possess large quantities of biological agents or toxins.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Bartlett, no

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes




Temporary Patriot Act

Voting 209 for and 218 against, members on July 21 defeated a Democratic bid to extend the USA Patriot Act temporarily, subject to congressional renewal after four years. The House then passed HR 3199.

A yes vote backed temporary status for the Patriot Act.

Maryland

Bartlett yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, no

West Virginia

Capito, no




Library searches

Members on July 21 voted, 402 for and 26 against, to require the FBI director to personally approve library and bookstore searches under HR 3199. The bill renews authority for law enforcement agents, bearing secret warrants, to obtain customer records from libraries, bookstores and other entities.

Days earlier, the Republican leadership disallowed a direct vote on such searches. On the one occasion, on June 16, when members were allowed to vote directly on library and bookstore searches, they blocked funding for them. The Senate has not yet taken a stand.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes




National security letters

Voting 394 for and 32 against, members on July 21 adopted an amendment to HR 3199 giving recipients of a "national security letter" access to counsel, standing to challenge the letter in court and freedom to publicly discuss it. These letters are subpoenas that the FBI can issue to obtain information without prior court review. While the subpoenas must be relevant to a terrorism probe, there is no prior court check on whether that test has been met.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

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